By PHILIP CHANDLER
A Queenstown hobby beekeeper says anyone with a swarm of bees on their property should call an expert like him.
Dan Childs, who recently extracted a swarm from the roof cavity of a house near Queenstown’s CBD, notes bees normally swarm during spring.
‘‘Bees swarm because they’ve outgrown their current residence.
‘‘If you do see a swarm, don’t panic, just let them fly past you, or just leave them if they have clustered on a branch or post.
‘‘Don’t spray them with anything,’’ he says.
You might think it’s OK to leave them on a tree, but it’s not.
‘‘Because of disease these days, AFB and varroa, it’s better to keep them contained in a hive.
‘‘Once they get stuck in a tree, and if they get AFB, that can get spread around to other hives, and once a hive gets AFB, you’ve got to burn the whole hive.’’
In the case of the recent roof extraction, Childs says he got help from roofer Paul Duncan
and fellow beekeeper Michel Marchand to locate the Queenand remove all the bees — they’re now happily in his apiary.
A professional photographer, Childs says bees were a childhood passion which he only picked up again four years ago, when a friend contacted him after inheriting two hives
when she bought a property.
He’s since been studying apiculture and is now a fully-registered beekeeper and accredited inspector.
He cares for 12 hives, including some at the Hilton hotel where his 222 Photographic Studios is based.
Childs can be contacted at email@example.com